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Bone Broth Benefits!

Mon 18th Sep, 2017 - 12:19pm by Emma Cockrell

For whatever reason you want to support health nutritionally, bone broth may well have a part to play.  Being nutrient-dense and easy to digest, bone broth can be both soothing to a compromised digestive system and nourishing for cells in the gastro intestinal tract and beyond. Broth therefore can be a beneicial food to include in any anti-candida protocol

Reasons to make Bone Broth

The practice of boiling bones to make stocks and broths used to be a regular feature in days past. It was simply a way of gaining another meal from a joint of meat, and making a tasty base for home-made soups. With the rise of stock cubes and granules, this practice went out of fashion, until recent days.  The benefits of making broth have now been re-examined, and bone stock has become known as a valuable source of important nutrients. These nutrients support health in many body systems, including the skin, heart, joints, muscles, eyes, and brain, even encouraging good sleep. It can also be particularly helpful for the health of the digestive tract. Chris Kresser makes the following comments:

Gut health
A healthy colon contains a single tight layer of epithelial cells, a thick mucus layer, and a diverse collection of microbes. Microbial dysbiosis and a thinning of this mucus layer can quickly compromise the integrity of the epithelial barrier. Microbes and dietary proteins can then “leak” into the bloodstream and invoke an inflammatory response by the immune system. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a component of bacterial cell walls, stimulates a particularly robust immune response.

Bone broth is a staple of gut-healing diets, and rightfully so! Gelatin absorbs water and helps maintain the layer of mucus that keeps gut microbes away from the intestinal barrier. In a mouse model, gelatin supplementation reduced the severity of colitis by strengthening the mucus layer and altering gut microbiota composition. Gelatin and glycine have also been shown to reduce the inflammation caused by LPS. Glycine has been shown to protect against gastric ulcers as well. Glutamine also helps maintain the integrity of the gut mucosa and intestinal barrier.

Bone broth has so many benefits to gut health that I had to make digestion its own section! Drinking broth with meals is an excellent way to aid digestion. Glycine stimulates the production of stomach acid, which is essential for the proper digestion of food. Low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria) is surprisingly common in developed countries and can lead to a number of health issues.

Glycine is also an important component of bile acid, which is released to aid in the digestion of fats in the small intestine. Bile acid is important for maintaining normal blood cholesterol levels. The presence of gelatin in the gut also draws fluid into the intestine, improving gut motility and supporting healthy bowel movements. Low blood levels of collagen have been associated with inflammatory bowel disease.

Bone Broth to Encourage Detoxification

Another key issue many clients have to deal with is supporting the body in its detoxification process. Since the intestinal yeast Candida albicans can release at least 79 known toxins, it is not surprising that detoxification may need some extra support. There are various nutrients and foods which can encourage good detoxification, but here again, bone broth can be helpful. Chris Kresser continues:

Detoxification, liver, and kidney health
Recently, there has been some concern regarding the lead toxicity of bone broth. However, the vitamins and minerals that are abundant in bone broth… can protect against the harmful effects of toxins like lead. Glycine also stimulates production of glutathione, the body’s master antioxidant… In humans, glycine reduces oxidative stress in patients with metabolic syndrome…

For Chris Kresser’s full article and references click here

Bones for Broth

To make bone broth you simply need meat bones! The source of these is important, so use out-door-reared/free-range or organic bones if possible. Get talking to your local butcher about what he can provide, or check out the websites for the online organic-produce providers – Abel and Cole, or Riverford. Both these companies sell chicken carcasses, which are ideal. You can firstly cook these to provide chicken-pickings for snack lunches, and then boil up to make broth. Alternatively, check out your local discount supermarket – they tend to sell free-range chickens a good deal cheaper than the regular supermarkets. I tend to keep all bones from a roast, and if I can’t make the broth immediately, freeze them until I am ready.

Broth Cooking Process

Since the aim is to cook the bones until they are soft (particularly chicken bones), there are two main approaches. Either cook long and low for 36-48 hours in a slow-cooker, or cook for 2-3 hours in a pressure cooker. There seems to be arguments for both sides, but the process I find works best for me is to use the pressure cooker. This produces a rich and concentrated stock, which can be diluted for drinking as a broth.

Place the bones in a stainless-steel pressure cooker. Add any vegetables you like – onion, celery, celariac, garlic etc. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice, to help draw the beneficial minerals out of the bones. Most recipes call for cider vinegar, but this should be replaced with lemon juice for those who have an intestinal yeast problem. Bring up to pressure and then cook for 2-3 hours. If using a slow-cooker, place all ingredients in the crock-pot and pour on boiling water, and then simmer for a minimum of 24 hours.

Strain the bones from the liquid and allow to cool.  Store in the fridge in large, clean jars, and warm up as needed. Sip a little before meals to sooth the digestive tract. This can also be added to soups and sauces to increase nutrients and flavour.